Sunday, December 12, 2010

Starting It Back Up... (When I Wish I Hadn't!)

Sometimes I actually do what I say I'm going to do.  I started out this week with every intention of resting and recovering and I did just that.  The week since my long run went like this....

Sunday...   Hobble around like an old man and laugh at myself, decide I need to shut things down for the week.

Monday...   Watched Harry Potter 1,2 and 3.  Layed on the Couch all day.

Tuesday...  Watched Harry Potter 4,5,6.  Layed on the Couch all day.  Updated Blog.

Wednesday...  Watched the rest of Harry Potter 6 (I fell asleep on the couch), went ot see a Matinee of Harry Potter 7, and then Watched some Matt Damn Informant movie that night.  Layed on the couch a lot.

Thursday...   Ran errands, cleaned house, started to pack for what I thought would be a trip to Vermont for the weekend to go skiing only to find out the girl's dog is sick and we're not going to go.  So I shifted gears and packed some workout clothes and headed down to Newport to help with the Girl's dog.

Friday...  Decided it was time to do something active again and the Girl and I went to get a swim in.  I knew I hand't swam in a while, and that I hadn't done anything active in some time so I didn't have high expectations.  I just wanted to start loosening things up again.  I think in the end I only swam 1000 yards.  It wasn't a very pretty 1000 yards either.  It was pretty much made up of 50's with lots of rest in the middle.  But it was a swim and a start to getting things moving again.  We spent the rest of that day tending to the Girl's girl and making fabulous pizzas for dinner.

At some point that day I decided the best thing for the continued recovery of my legs was to replace my rollback week long run (12 miler) with a two hour bike effort instead.  That way my legs can continue to recover via a lower impact bike workout but I can keep my cardio vascular base with a sustained effort for the same amount of time.  Seemed like a good plan.  And hec... lets chuck a swim in front of it and see if Chris wants to join me.  Chris said yes so were all set to go for an early Saturday AM start.  Even better is that the weather is supposed to be 40 degrees.  Practically balmy after the week we've had.  Perfect!  I figured I'd ride this week and start running again on tuesday and build up to my last twenty miler on that weekend.

Saturday...    Saturday AM a series of events happened that tragically combined into the start of an awful weekend of training.  It started with my friend Chris cancelling as he had been very ill the night before and wasn't up for it.  At this point I asked the girl if she wanted to swim with me on Sunday instead.  She said yes, so I figured great...  I'll just get on the bike and while the girl is out doing her long run I'll get my long ride in and be done at the same time so she's not waiting on me.  Perfect.  So a quick change out of swim clothes and into bike clothes and Cannon and I are out the door and ready to ride at 8AM.

Here's where it all goes to hell....

When I left it was already about 40 degrees out and sunny and low winds.  I was excited as I knew it was going to be a beautifull day to ride and I was looking forward to it.  Since I was now on my own I convinced myself a 50 mile ride was in order.  I've done a number of 32 mile rides lately and I figured it was time to up the mileage.  Especially since it was so nice out!  I started out heading out on the Ocean drive and figured I'd make the rest of the route up as I went and weave into Middletown and see what happened from there.  I also considered just doing the ten mile loop of the ocean drive 5 times and trying to negative split each lap over the one before which sounded like fun.  So I planned on a nice ten mile warmup to figure it out.  I rode down Bellevue avenue past the mansions and I remember noticing the roads were slick but I didn't think much of it.  Lots of loose debris on the roads too.  Had there been a storm the night before?  Anyway...  I rounded the turn at the end of Bellevue and slowed way down as I knew there was a hard right and quick left turn coming.  As I made the hard right I noted the road was slick and I should take the hard left slowly.  I slowed to 10-12mph or so and started a very much upright turn left.  I can't remember if I was in aero or not.  As soon as I started the left hander everything went wrong and before I knew it the bike was all over the place sliding and I was going over.  Next thing I knew I'm sideways on the pavement sliding towards the edge of the road for a good twenty feet or so.  Evenutally I stopped.  CRAP!  I can't beleive I dumped my bike!  Ok...   time to take inventory.  I'm ok.  Got one of my feet unclipped from the bike and stood up.  Checked my arms, legs, head, everything seems ok.  Shit....   I'm in the middle of the road!  Ooops!  So I grab my bike and get to the side of the road.  A runner behind me yells to me to ask if I'm ok.  I appreciatively say "Yes I'm good, Thanks!".  To which he replies...   "Its still really icy in the shade you have to watch out for that!".  My inner voice said "Thanks asshole...   howbout telling me something I don't know already".  My outer voice kept quiet and ignored him.

Now safely on the side of the road I took stock.  First of my body....  My left forearm hurt but not awfully.  My riding jacket was really torn up over that forearm but my arm bent in all the right ways and there was no pain as if I'd broken anything.  I checked my helmet and it wasn't even't scuffed meaning my head never hit pavement so that was good.  I was confused though.  I just remember trying to turn left and then being sideways.  Somehow I managed to dump the bike over on my right side while turning left.  Not sure how thats even possible... but I did.  Crap... thats the derailler side!  So I stopped with the body inventory to look at the bike.  Sadly I immediately noticed the derailler was bent inwards towards the wheel.  "F#$%!!!!!"  I noticed some other damage but that was the one that really had me bummed out.  The rest of me seemed ok.  My side hurt, but nothing awful.  So I mucked around with the bike a bit to see if it was rideable.  I managed to get it in a steady gear on the small ring and left it there to avoid any further damage to anything and very very slowly started to ride the three miles back to the house at an easy spin.  While riding back I almost dumped the bike again on another shady patch of black ice where the wheels went all over the place.  No matter how careful I was it was just super slick in some parts the sun hadn't warmed up yet.  So I limped home with the bike, carried it up the stairs and started to take inventory of my body again.

I started by removing bits of clothing one by one and taking stock of what was scuffed or scratched as an indication of what might be hurt underneath.  My helmet looked perfect which was a good indicator my head never hit pavement so that was good.  My jacket was all screwed up on the left arm which made NO sense to me as I went down on my right side which was clear by the damage to my bike.  Anyway after peeling the jacket off and two other baselayers off a nice patch of road rash was evidenced on my left forearm.  So I washed that up which stung like hell and moved on to check everything else.  My left thigh also had a small patch of road rash on it but that wasn't bad at all.  So I got in the shower and started to clean up.  Seemed like phsically I'd gotten off easy.  But as I was standing in the shower I started to wonder how it all went down.  I decided I needed to look at the bike first to figure it out. 

When I inspected the bike I was bumming.  My brand new bike was all scuffed up!  The right break hood is all scratched up, the tips of BOTH bar end shifters are all scuffed up and chipped, the aerobars took a good wack and were out of alignment, and one of the elbow pads was completely cracked in half.  The rear derailler hanger (I hope its only the hanger!) is bent so the derailler is not parallel with the cassette anymore, and the rear derailler has a huge scrape mark on it from the ground.  Ugh!

So heres my theory...   I think when I went round the turn the bike slipped initially the way you would think it would and I tried to correct and save it and then dumped the other way.  So me and the bike landed on my right side.  At which point I came unclipped?  (maybe?) and managed to land/slide/fall on my left side.  Or at least break my fall with my left forearm and side.  I also think the frame or some part of the bike hit my right knee pretty hard.

Ok....   thats enough about the fall...  for now....

So I was pissed at this point and my workout had lasted all of about 15 minutes.  Not the two hour effort I wanted so I threw on some tri shorts and a tshirt and proceeded to head to the Y to go sit on a spin bike for two hours.  Joy.  But I wasn't going to give up yet and I felt well enough to ride.  I wasn't going to let this fall screw up my day any more than it already had.

So I head to the Y and drove past the Girl in the middle of her long run.  She looked at me puzzled to see me in the car and not on a bike.  I just waved and smiled and kept driving.  At the Y I got on a spin bike and got to work.  I can do two hours indoors without too much trouble.  Theres no doubt it sucks and its challenging but I can do it.  The problem was where to put my left arm.  My forearm was so raw that it was really tender and I couldn't rest it on anything.  So finding a position to put my arms in that approximated an aero position was challenging.  I did about 50% of the ride upright and the rest by resting my elbows and hands on the bars and trying to keep my forearm protected.  Every now and then I'd slip and wince in pain as I hit something with it or it got sweat all over it from the bars which stung like hell.  So I suffered through a two hour ride and at least felt good about getting my workout in.  However when I went to walk back to the locker room my right knee was REALLY sore.  WTF!!!  So I took a long shower, stretched a little and headed back home.  I'd left a note for the girl saying something like "dumped my bike, I'm ok, went to the Y to finish on a spin bike".  So she would understand but she was super fabulous asking me if I was ok and saying sorry about my new bike taking a tumble which was great and I needed that.

Once home more aches and pains showed up.  My right knee hurt and felt swollen now, my left thigh was a bit sore, and my forearms of course hurt too.  Walking was fine, but going down or upstairs was a challenge.   Ugh!!!   Seriously this is supposed to be a recovery week for me not a make it worse week!

I went to bed and hoped for better things on Sunday.

Sunday...   woke up sunday morning and my knee felt a little better so the girl and I headed to the pool as planned.  And then the weekend continued to suck!  My first 50 was awful.  I felt really rough, out of breath, and not comfy in the water at all.  So I did another, and another.  Same.  Then five or so more.  Still the same.  I wasn't loosening up and they were getting worse.  I was getting grumpier and grumpier.  My rest intervals went from 20 seconds to thirty seconds to 40 seconds to a minute between 50's.  This was fricking ridiculous.  I got mad and on the inside I threw a tantrum just twenty minutes into my workout.  Then I did something I almost never ever do for any reason except injury and even thats rare.  I got out of the pool.  I waited for the girl to finish a lap and told her I was getting out, going for a walk and to call me when she was done.  She tried to get me to explain but I refused and left.  I was pissed and stormed out of the pool essentially.

I took a long shower and got dressed and went for a walk in the pouring rain to think.  I said a lot at the end of last season that I want to work on my swimming this winter and get a lot better and be able to swim long distances without a wetsuit.  I've had moments of progress this winter but also lots of frustration and also a lack of consistency in getting to the pool for a variety of reasons.  The other is that instead of getting a coach I agreed to let the girl help me and my friend Chris help me and I read a lot and watch a lot of videos.  The problem is I have this sort of coach by random committee approach and its not working.  In fact its failing horribly.  I'm trying whatever the last bit of info someone or something suggested I try and its not an organized approach to getting better.  Its failing horribly.  I've gone from being able to swim a 600 yard set with bad technique to somewhat better technique I struggle to do for 100 yards and I've lost the ability to go longer than that.  I'm a mess in the water and this morning I realized just how bad it was and got pissed off and stormed out.  Time for a new approach.  Time for ONE coach, one approach, focused practices with well laid out goals and no more bullshit!

As an aside I should say that I LOVE that everyone has been so willing to help me and kind enough to offer advice and I appreciate all of it.  Its just that I need one voice in my head instead of many.  So time for a new approach.  I also need to have clear well laid out goals in the pool.  Not just swim 50's till I'm relaxed and then try some 100's.  Thats not getting it done!

So the Girl and I had a nice long chat once we met up again.  Fortunately for me she wasn't upset that I'd left her in the pool and was kind enough to be more interested into finding the root cause of why I left.  So we agreed that she would stay on as my coach but that instead of swimming together and her offering me the occasional tip we'd go to a more traditional coach out of the water directing me for an entire practice type approach.  It just wasn't working for me to swim side by side sharing a lane and getting occasional advice.  I need a dedicated coach.  So in exchange for this I had to agree that I would follow her direction completely, not argue with her methods and stick to her workout routines without exception.  Whatever she says I have to do unconditionally.  She's convinced that if I'm willing to give myself over to this that I'll improve and that we'll be sure and make time to do this once a week without fail.  So thats the new plan.  So hopefully this works out.  We'll see what happens.  Anything has GOT to be better than what I'm doing now. 

So whats the wrap up to the week?  I screwed up my bike (I'll take it into the shop tomorrow and see how bad it really is), I banged up my knee,  my left shoulder is now hurting as well, my left side still hurts from the fall, my forearm is all screwed up and I'm not sure when I can run again STILL as right when I was starting to reover I go and wack my knee.  So not the most productive "recovery" week but I guess it could have been much worse.  I'm lucky there were no cars in that intersection and that I wasn't going faster or didn't break anything and that if I'm lucky I think the frame of my bike is fine.  But I will let the bike guys determine that one.  So yeah...   not the best week.  Here's hoping for better things next week.  I'm still holding out hope I'll get that last 20 mile run in at the end of the week.

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